Lessons from a Rose Bush

RECENTLY, while working out a problem which seemed slow in yielding, the history of a rose bush, which is now a source of much pleasure to its owner, came to the writer with comforting thoughts. This rose bush was at first simply a stick. There was nothing attractive in its appearance, but one who knew the parent bush, planted and carefully tended it. Sometimes it appeared to be lifeless, and the temptation came to abandon it; but still it was watched and cared for, until by and by it began to manifest life. It sent out little roots, then one day a tiny green leaf made its appearance. How carefully the little slip was watched! When the wind blew, it was sheltered and supported; when a frost seemed imminent, it was protected. Then, as it continued to grow and shoots sprang up which seemed to sap its vitality, they were cut away, until at last it was indeed a thing of beauty, bearing roses almost through the entire year.

The thought came to the writer how much the experience of many of us resembles that of the rose bush. Seemingly unanswered prayers and disappointment with the results of many problems over which we labor earnestly and faithfully, leave us, so far as we can see, of no real value to any one. One day, however, the subject of Christian Science is lovingly brought to our attention. Perhaps we meet it with indifference, or even a self-righteous refusal to consider it. For some time we are not conscious of any change in our thought, nor is there perhaps any change apparent to those around us; but later as we look back we know that here was our starting-point. Unconsciously at first, we begin to seek Truth, and while the growth is seemingly slow, we are nevertheless receiving the spiritual food which is life giving.

After a time, the destruction of some discordant physical condition, the overcoming of anger, or the elimination of fear, makes manifest to those about us that some progress is being made. Occasionally the winds of discouragement blow, and it would seem that we must give up, but at such times David's declaration, "God is our refuge and strength," or Paul's assurance that we shall not be tempted above that we are able to bear, encourages us to press on. Then, again, if the frost of criticism and pride is admitted to thought, it threatens to destroy our growth, but by dwelling in the thought of love as found in the thirteenth chapter of I Corinthians, we are warmed and protected. And so, as we continue to grow, when shoots of error or any of the forms in which a sense of mortal selfhood is manifested present themselves, Love gently but firmly destroys them.

Whose Servants Are We?
October 14, 1916

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